Whilst it's generally hard to get hold of any new mountain bikes at the moment, we suspect the release of new 2021 Boardman full suspension trail bikes will be met with much anticipation. The brand change things up with progressive geometry and 29er wheels this year.
Boardman kick things off with a bang, giving all the bikes in the range 29er wheels rather than 27.5". The travel at the rear gets longer too with 145mm of rear squish matched with 140mm or 150mm forks. We actually saw a sneak peek of this new bike whilst it was in the prototype stage way back in 2019.
Geometry has changed across the range too compared to 2020, with this new trail bike getting a slacker 66 degree head angle, a steeper effective seat tube angle at 75.5 degrees and longer reach's across all sizes with a large sized bike seeing a lengthy reach of 475mm, albeit with an also long 638mm effective top tube. Chainstays sit at 440mm for all sizes and the seat tube, on a large at least is long at 475mm too. There will be three sizes, medium, large and XL to choose from.
Lastly, the full suspension women's bikes are dropped from the full suspension range in 2021, no bad thing, last years women's specific bikes sported identical geometry to the men's/unisex bikes anyway with just thing like handlebar width and saddles altered.
Boardman also adds a new MTR 9.0 model to the four bike range. This new range topper is £2,000, £400 more than the most expensive bike (MTR 8.9) form 2020 but give customers a choice of a whole new set of decent components attached to the same frame. Read on for more details...
Alongside those geometry updates, the flagship bikes gets what we think is the best colourway in the range as well as X9 alloy frame. Upfront the bike gets a Rockshox Pike Select fork with 150mm of travel, paired with a Rockshox Deluxe Select+ rear shock. There's a Shimano SLX 12 speed drivetrain with 32T chainring giving large gear range, plus there are Shimano SLX 4-piston brakes. There are decent tyres too, a 2.5" Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR up front with a Minion DHR II at the back, fitted on WTB ST-i30 rims and Shimano hubs which are pretaped for a tubeless setup. The cockpit gets a Boardman own brand 780mm wide bars and a 45mm stem, plus there's a Satori Sorata Pro dropper post (a relatively new budget dropper) with 125mm travel on the medium and 150mm on the large and XL bikes with a Fizik Taiga saddle on top.
Previously the range topper, the 8.9 now still comes in at £1,600 with the new geometry and 29er wheels. This bike and others below it in the range have the brads X7 alloy which we presume is slightly heavier than the X9 on the MTR 9.0. Spec-wise this bike has a Rockshox Gold RL 35 fork with 150mm of travel whilst the 145mm of rear travel is dealt with via a Deluxe Select+ shock just like the MTR 9.0. The drivetrain here is a SRAM NX Eagle (12 speed) one paired with SRAM Guide T four piston brakes and an identical cockpit to the pricier bike including the dropper post. Tyres used are a Maxxis Minions (DHF front and DHR II rear) on Boardman on wheels.
Next in the range is the MTR 8.8, seeing a price hike of £50 to £1,300. The bike is fitted with a Rockshox Recon Silver RL Solo Air fork (150mm travel) with the same Rockshox Deluxe Select+ shock. Elsewhere there is a Shimano Deore 11 speed drivetrain and Shm=imano MT200 brakes. This bike also gets a dropper post and the same cockpit, wheel and tyre set up as the MTR 8.9.
The cheapest bike in the range comes in at £1,000 and forgoes 10mm in front travel, the Suntour XCR34 LO-R DS Air fork has 140mm travel. There is an entry level Rockshock Select shock and a 10 speed 1x drivetrain from Shimano with Tektro HD-M285 brakes. The dropper post is still listed in the spec but not shown in the photos on Boardman's website. Elsewhere the cockpit and wheel set up are the same as the MTR 8.8. The shorter fork is likely to affect the geometry of the bike, giving it a steeper head angle, the geometry chart on the Boardman website doesn't show this but we'll try to find out the information and get back to you.
If you want to know more about the full range of Boardman Bikes, both gravel bikes, hardtails and full suspension bikes, hit this link - www.off.road.cc - and head over to our range overview of the 2021 line up.
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